Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Maybe if we call it "Grease for Peace" 

In this photo released by the Israeli government press office, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, left, General-Secretary of the United Nation Kofi Annan, center, and Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom talk during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday Nov. 16, 2005. Shalom and Abbas held unexpected talks Wednesday in Tunisia, the highest-level Israeli-Palestinian meeting since June. (AP Photo/Moshe Milner,GPO)
A brief transcript of part of the conversation:

Kofi:So we've had a LOT of experience helping out in these matters, trust me...
Abbas:You can trust him.
Shalom:I don't know, we need security assurances and...
Kofi:Look, it's not so complicated. You've already tried "Land for Peace". We at the UN have run "Oil for Food". So let me combine the best of both worlds. I've got four simple but powerful words for you: "Grease for Peace".
Shalom:Grease for Peace?
Abbas:Grease for Peace, yes....
Kofi:It's simple, you want peace, you deposit a certain sum with us....
Abbas:5 Billion
Kofi:(silencing the Palestinian leader with a wave of his hand) ...let's say 10 Billion, but at the UN, where it's perfectly safe. And then we...we ensure that the money gets to help your partners, the Palestinians, provide the security you need, and the economic vitality they need...
Shalom:I don't know, that sounds a lot like protection money to me, you know, extortion. Besides, Grease for Peace is only three words; what's the fourth word?
Kofi:Fourth word? What are you, some kind of an accountant? Four words...three words... what's the freakin' difference?! I can see this isn't going to work. Are there any other Israelis we can talk to? Is Peres still alive?

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